Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - It was a busy two hours on the KGVO Talk Back show on Thursday, and Missoula City Councilor and mayoral candidate Mike Nugent took the first hour of the show to answer questions about everything from homelessness to the downtown parking controversy.

Nugent said shelters for the homeless should be targeted to address more vulnerable groups, such as women and children.

City Councilor and Mayoral Candidate Mike Nugent was on Talk Back

“As we move forward, the city has said that their priority is another shelter option to kind of help alleviate some of this, (homelessness),” began Nugent. “If that's the case, I'd like to see that shelter be a little bit more divided into more specific needs. Women and children first, because women and children can't be in the same space like the Johnson Street Shelter where everybody is, and we're creating that environment.”

Nugent responded to a question from the KGVO app about the parking situation in downtown Missoula.

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Nugent said the Present Parking Regulations are for a Town, not a City

“The city's parking regulations are for a town, and probably in this process, we need to grow into a city,” he said. “The parking commission is actually doing a study right now. And one of the big things they've identified is they have all these leased spots downtown that sits empty because the way people use their offices has changed. So can they create a system where they're combining some of those so there are more parking spots available? I think there are other creative things we should be doing and I just wish that those were presented before this (the downtown plan) went forward because I think the conversation would be a lot better.”

Nugent said the city government exists to help the people of Missoula in a myriad of ways.

Nugent Encouraged Missoula Residents to Get Involved in City Issues

“Local government is what impacts everybody's lives the most,” he said. “For instance, if there's a pothole in front of your house that impacts you more than whatever Congress did today, and I am surprised by how few people pay attention. I also think that there are only a handful of you guys (KGVO) that cover it. Unless you understand how government works it's hard to cover the process and the city council.”

Nugent acknowledged a criticism that some of the city councilors don’t respond more quickly to concerns in their wards.

“I would say don't be afraid to nudge us,” he said. “If you reach out to one of us and somebody doesn't get back to you, I wouldn't be afraid to nudge him. Be polite about it because I think that that really helps. But just like ‘Hey, I still would be interested in learning more about this’. Because I would say most of the people on council try and do a good job of getting back to people in a way that actually helps with information.”

Inside Look at the New TSOS Shelters

The Temporary Safe Outdoor Space new hard-sided shelter facility officially opened on Thursday, January 5. The TSOS is just off West Broadway near the new Trinity affordable housing complex.

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